Day: June 25, 2020

Is It Safe To Let People Use Your Bathroom During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

There are many steps you can take to make the process of letting someone use your bathroom safer. (Photo: Niccoló Pontigia / EyeEm via Getty Images)
There are many steps you can take to make the process of letting someone use your bathroom safer. (Photo: Niccoló Pontigia / EyeEm via Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our social lives in many ways. Perhaps one of the most notable changes is the rise of the physically distanced backyard hangout.

We’ve all seen the images of small groups of people sitting outside and having a drink. Although any sort of gathering does carry some risk for spreading the coronavirus, we know it’s much less easily transmitted outside, where there’s more space and more natural airflow. 

Still, there’s one issue that seems unavoidable: What happens when someone has to use the bathroom?

“The real risk is from person-to-person interaction, so letting someone use your bathroom would not pose a major risk of disease exposure,” said Brian Labus, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ School of

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The best secured credit cards of 2020

Build your credit history with a secured card.
Build your credit history with a secured card.

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you sign up for a credit card after clicking one of our links, we may earn a small fee for referring you. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives. 

A credit card can be a great way to make a quick payment online, build credit, finance your purchases, and earn rewards. 

But when you apply for a credit card, the issuer normally checks your credit reports and looks for a strong history of paying back money you’ve borrowed. If you’re new to credit or have a spotty credit history, then it may be tough to qualify because the issuer knows it’s taking on more risk. A secured credit card can be a good solution in these cases: You

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Dueling Trump-Biden events offer contrasting virus responses

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — As President Donald Trump visited a Wisconsin shipyard to emphasize job growth and reviving an economy hammered by the coronavirus, Joe Biden spent Thursday in Pennsylvania warning “there are no miracles coming” to help the nation beat back the still deadly pandemic.

“Amazingly, he hasn’t grasped the most basic fact of this crisis: To fix the economy we have to get control over the virus,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said of Trump while speaking at a community center in Lancaster. “He’s like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him. His whining and self-pity. This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us.”

The pandemic has largely prevented the two presidential candidates from holding dueling appearances in pivotal battleground states. On Thursday, it gave them an opportunity to show off their contrasting styles on a virus outbreak that has killed

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$600 bonus unemployment benefits end soon. Here’s how to prepare

Another 1.5 million Americans filed jobless claims last week to receive unemployment benefits, and the payments are currently going to about 19.5 million people, the government reported Thursday.

A weekly benefit boost has made unemployment a little easier for those who lost their jobs to the coronavirus, but soon they’ll have to survive without the bonus money.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — the CARES Act that also brought you those stimulus checks — provides an extra $600 per week of unemployment through July 31. Lawmakers haven’t committed to an extension.

Standard unemployment payouts vary from state to state, and depending on where you live you may have trouble making ends meet on regular benefits alone.

Here are nine things you can do to prepare to cope with a smaller weekly payout.

Pad your emergency fund while you still can

Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock

While you

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6 tips to create a strong password for any site, and keep your data secure

It's not hard to create a strong password.
It’s not hard to create a strong password.

ilona titova/Getty Images

  • To create a strong password, you should use a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

  • Once you’ve given one account a strong password, don’t reuse that password for other accounts — doing so means that if one account is hacked, all of your accounts can be compromised.

  • Using a password manager will help you keep track of your passwords, and allow you to create strong passwords for every account.

  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Passwords can be immensely annoying, especially if you have many different accounts. Eventually, something will come along to replace them — many modern smartphones already use face or fingerprint scanners.

But right now, we have to use passwords. This means that you should know how to create strong and unique passwords to protect your accounts.

Why strong, complex

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The online lesson plan marketplace boomed when the pandemic hit

The online lesson plan marketplace boomed when the pandemic hit
The online lesson plan marketplace boomed when the pandemic hit

The coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we know it, mandating we sequester ourselves to slow the spread of a potentially deadly illness that has killed hundreds of thousands of people globally.

That reality presents a whole host of complications to everyday life. One major issue: How do we educate our kids?

The initial spike in COVID-19 cases this spring forced nearly all classes to move online. Parents had to pivot overnight to being educators for their kids. Teachers had to make dramatic shifts in how they do things. That reality left folks across the country scrambling for resources.

A surge of new customers soon flooded the online lesson plan market. A lesson plan market is exactly what it sounds like: think Etsy or Amazon but for school resources. (TPT) is the most popular such site — a place where

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How to land the lowest 15-year mortgage rate for your refinance

Refinancing is all the rage among homeowners in 2020 as mortgage rates keep hitting new record lows amid the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus.

If you think you’re ripe for a refi, you likely want to find the lowest mortgage rate you can — but you also should give some thought to your loan term.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage gets all the attention because it’s America’s most popular type of home loan, and maybe that’s what you currently have.

But if you’ve been in your home a few years, refinancing into a 15-year mortgage can keep you from dragging out the debt and your interest costs. The loans come with lower interest rates than 30-year mortgages, but the monthly payments are higher.

Here are four tips on how to get the very best deal when refinancing into a 15-year mortgage.

1. Compare loans

Most mortgage lenders offer both

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The 6 best credit cards that will save you the most money

The right credit card can help you save big on your next big purchase
The right credit card can help you save big on your next big purchase

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you sign up for a credit card after clicking one of our links, we may earn a small fee for referring you. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives.

Whether you’re buying a new television, remodeling the kitchen or even covering an emergency bill, certain credit card perks can help you save money whenever you have to spend. Big purchases are great to charge to your credit card—if you have a personal payback plan and picked the right card, that is. A card with an introductory 0% APR period can also be a great financing choice when you want a long, interest-free repayment period. Plus, many cards come with extra benefits, like

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Here’s When Companies In America Are Planning To Reopen Their Offices

One-third of companies say they will allow employees to work from home through the rest of 2020, according to a SHRM survey. (Photo: Masafumi Nakanishi via Getty Images)
One-third of companies say they will allow employees to work from home through the rest of 2020, according to a SHRM survey. (Photo: Masafumi Nakanishi via Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the office routines of millions of Americans, and many office workers don’t yet know when they will return to their buildings.

The answer to “When do I need to report back to the office?” is significant, because it can dramatically change a person’s plans. Knowing when you need to go back to an office impacts commuting, childcare duties, budget and even housing or moving plans. 

Forty-five percent of organizations have not announced a date employees will return to worksites, according to a May survey of more than 1,000 members of the Society of Human Resource Management. 

When employees have been given a timeline for returning to work, answers vary on what that ideal time should be. Of companies

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Britain offers to back down on ‘tech tax’ after US fury

Facebook under scrutiny
Facebook under scrutiny

The Government is offering to narrow the scope of its digital tax after the US threatened tariffs on nations that target its technology companies. 

The compromise “would considerably ease the task of achieving a consensus-based solution and make a political agreement within reach this year,” according to a letter sent from finance chiefs from the UK, France, Spain and Italy to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The nations are offering up a “phased approach” to taxing “automated” digital technology companies, according to the letter, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.  

This suggests they would first look at search engines, social media networks and e-commerce and digital marketplaces like those offered by Amazon and eBay, which take a cut from sellers, but do not have a physical presence in the countries where the items are being sold, rather than consumer-facing businesses.  

US officials have warned that the digital tax could

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